Section 26 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 deals with “Release of certain long-term prisoners under Criminal Justice Act 1991”. This was expected to have an impact on the prison population, and the impact was included in the projections of prison population published in September 2008 and August 2009. Copies are in the House Libraries.
The impact of section 26 was estimated to gradually reduce the prison population from the commencement of the section in June 2008, reaching a reduction of around 400 in August 2009. After then the impact gradually reduces by around 100 per year to 2012, and then reduces more slowly to around 40 by 2015. The impact reduces after 2009 because there are fewer and fewer prisoners sentenced under the 1991 Act, which was replaced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Section 21 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act deals with “Credit for period of remand on bail: terms of imprisonment and detention”. It allows the courts discretion to direct that up to half the number of days spent on tagged bail will count as time served against a subsequent custodial sentence. The credit is made on a similar, but not identical basis as remand to custody. It was expected that this measure would have no impact on the number or length of sentences given by the courts.